This is one of the best kept secrets in Europe. It is locked up in the maze of corridors in the European Commission, in a guarded room that only about 40 accredited officials have the right to enter. And then only with paper and pen. Smartphones are not allowed.
This is a stricter safety protocol than even for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP) between the European Union and the United States: If members of the European Parliament want to access TTIP documents they can enter the reading room without anyone checking the contents of their pockets.
The secret is a report of about 250 pages. Its title, in the jargon of the Commission, is “Impact Assessment.”
It assesses the “socio-economic” impact of regulations related to a group of chemical pollutants. Known as endocrine disruptors, these chemicals are capable of interfering with the hormones of animal species, including humans, and are believed to be the cause of many serious diseases: hormone-dependent cancers, infertility, obesity, diabetes, neurobehavioral disorders.
They are found in a multitude of consumer items, cosmetics, pesticides and plastics such as bisphenol A (or BPA). Whole sectors of industry will be affected by regulation of these chemicals in the medium term. Billions of euros are at stake.
Endocrine disruptors: The secret history of a scandal